The Woman who
Wanted to Drown her Mother-in-Law
Once there was a poor weaver whose wife used to grind wheat into
flour, and they lived in a house by the river. When cereals were
cheapest they bought enough to last them a year. They bought wheat,
lentils, beans, etc.
The poor weaver said to his wife one day, Look at our stores and see
how much food is left.
O Husband, she answered, I have looked and there is enough for you
and me and my mother, - without your mother.
The poor weaver answered, I don't have money to buy any more, so
what shall we do with my mother?
The river is near us. At night we can tie two stones to her feet and
throw her into the river and get rid of her. If she doesn't die this
year, she will next. She is an old woman.
The weaver said, All right. Let's get rid of her.
In the evening as soon as the old women slept, the weaver said, O
wife, put a mark on one of her feet so we won't make a mistake.
She put a mark on the foot of the weaver's mother. When his wife was
asleep the weaver got up and put the mark on the foot of his wife's
mother and gently moved his own mother out of the way.
In the middle of the night he woke his wife and said. Get up so that
we can throw my mother into the river. Take care that you have the
one who has the mark.
Yes, this is the one. Here is the mark.
They picked up the old women carefully and carried her to the river
bank and threw her into the river. It was almost morning by the time
the deed was done. so the wife went to her mill feeling very happy
and began to sing:
O mill stones. 0 mill stones,
The fish have eaten my mother-in-law
And nothing's left but the bones.
Her husband was busy at his 100m and sang over and over to himself :
Just wait and see
If it's you or me
Who's going to groan and moan.
When it was broad daylight the husband's mother got up and began to
wash for her prayers.
The wife rushed to her husband and cried. What have you done? What
have I done?
That is your mother. It was my mother we threw into the river.
Hush. If she hadn't died this year she would have died next year.
She was an old woman. Keep quiet or we will both go to prison and be
hanged. So the wife had to keep quiet for fear of the government and
If you dig a well for someone else, you will be the one to fall into